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Old 10-16-2012, 10:34 PM   #1
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New Jeep Winch Bumper Acts as Toad Baseplate

We just installed on our Jeep a new LOD full length front bumper also set up as a Roadmaster (or Blue Ox) baseplate replacement. Many thanks to those contributors in previous threads that have researched aftermarket solutions for towing a Wrangler behind a motorhome.

My Jeep is a 2012 JK Sport, auto, 3.73 axle, with 2.5 inch lift and 35s. Roadmaster makes baseplates for the stock bumper but at $464 + $300 to install they were not an option, since if I wanted to upgrade to an aftermarket winch bumper later, that solution would then be a throw away. Also, we felt the Roadmaster attachment hardware hung down too low in front of the Jeep to be free from damage in the type of off roading we do. I considered but decided against putting a winch on the stock bumper.

LOD and Rock Hard were the only two brands of aftermarket winch bumper I found who said they could do it. I choose the LOD because their tow brackets are welded onto the bumper prior to powder coat and I liked the cleaner look. Rock hard has tow brackets that screw into the front of the bumper. Both companies can provide Roadmaster or Blue Ox brackets. I like the LOD welded brackets, but the Rock Hard has the advantage of being able to unscrew and convert to Blue Ox at a later date. Rock Hard also has a built in skid plate.

The photos show the LOD optional skid plate. We have a plug for the RV electrical, a plug for the Brakemaster auxiliary brake cable, and a plug for the emergency breakaway line. All had to go somewhere safe out of the way of damage. Two were mounted onto and just behind the skid plate, one on either side angled out, and one went up by the winch. Plug placement is an issue - you can see from the photo our choices. We use the D-Rings for the safety cables.

Since this was a custom bumper it was not in stock. My wait from order placement to shipment was only about 8 days. There was no extra cost for the Roadmaster brackets to be welded on (see photo).

The weight was 94 lbs, so I had it drop shipped to 4WD Hardware to install it. At the same time they put in the Smittybuilt 8,000 lb winch. Weve tried it and it and it tows great. We were planning a trip to Moab, this was the last bit of equipment to square away the Jeep and the RV.

Thanks again to the Forum and participants that helped me in this decision.
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:27 PM   #2
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Great info, as I am trying to determine which baseplate/bumper to use myself. I will use the BOx option. Can you tell me the vertical distance from the ground to the towbar attachment for your setup?

Thanks for the pictures. It is a great looking rig.
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:38 PM   #3
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That looks nice! I miss my Rubicon. I had a welding shop make custom brackets b/c at the time no one was building bumpers with the mounts. I had a LOD rear bumper and it was rock, solid enjoy.
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:58 PM   #4
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I installed the Blue Ox BX base plates on my 2002 Jeep Wrangler. Drilled four holes mounted the plates with the bolts and that was that.
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Old 10-17-2012, 06:16 AM   #5
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Nice setup - good looking Jeep.

Here is my 05' Rubicon with Blue Ox brackets bolted on. Works great.
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Old 10-17-2012, 01:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVTotem View Post
Great info, as I am trying to determine which baseplate/bumper to use myself. I will use the BOx option. Can you tell me the vertical distance from the ground to the towbar attachment for your setup?

Thanks for the pictures. It is a great looking rig.
Thanks. 23.5 inches vertical.
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Old 10-17-2012, 06:43 PM   #7
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I just used the shackle mounts of my Hanson bumper
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Old 10-17-2012, 11:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVTotem View Post
Great info, as I am trying to determine which baseplate/bumper to use myself. I will use the BOx option. Can you tell me the vertical distance from the ground to the towbar attachment for your setup?

Thanks for the pictures. It is a great looking rig.
If you are not looking to install a winch, Currie makes a baseplate to replace the stock plastic guard under the ft bumper. It acts like a skid plate and has Blue Ox brackets welded in (no Roadmaster option). It's relatively inexpensive. I almost got it but wanted a winch. Here is a link.
Currie Enterprises CJ Axle Parts
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Old 10-18-2012, 12:57 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich and Cork View Post
I just used the shackle mounts of my Hanson bumper
Previous to the BO tow bar setup pictured, I had similar setup. The Hanson brackets fit the A frame tow bar I had, widened them a bit to use with the shackle mounts of my Rock Hard bumper. Worked well.
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Old 10-18-2012, 08:22 AM   #10
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Thanks for the measurement. That is nearly three inches lower than my current Honda Pilot. I was hoping it would be because the receiver riser I now use rubs the end cap.

I am undecided about a winch, and may go with Currie, but the jeep I am looking for is in the 05-06 model years and Currie states it is for JK's. Getting the LoD bumper keeps my winch options open, plus it looks good.
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Old 10-18-2012, 09:50 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVTotem View Post
Thanks for the measurement. That is nearly three inches lower than my current Honda Pilot. I was hoping it would be because the receiver riser I now use rubs the end cap.

I am undecided about a winch, and may go with Currie, but the jeep I am looking for is in the 05-06 model years and Currie states it is for JK's. Getting the LoD bumper keeps my winch options open, plus it looks good.
I should have mentioned that my Jeep has the 2.5" lift and the larger tires are 34.4 " in lieu of the stock 32.1", making the lift hight due to tire size 1.15" higher as well. Stock, the Sport S sat about 3.65' inch lower.

Not sure if I will use a winch much but it is good insurance. One thing I do know for sure, it hard to buy a Jeep and stop thinking about things to add to it!!! We had a 4wd Honda CR-V which was wonderful for what it was, and got us into some real adventures on BLM and Nat Park off pavement exploration. But the Jeep has the ground clearance and traction we need for some real exploration off road.
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Old 10-18-2012, 06:02 PM   #12
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Rvfellow,

I picked up on the lift in your earlier post, and your mods are pretty much what I have in mind.

Sounds like we are doing it for similar reasons, too. I currently pull a Pilot, but want to buy an 05-06 Unlimited Rubicon to get further into the outback. So far I have not been able to find one here in Florida. Plenty of Rubicons and plenty of Unlimiteds, but not the combination. Still looking.
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Old 10-19-2012, 11:16 PM   #13
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Rvfellow,

I picked up on the lift in your earlier post, and your mods are pretty much what I have in mind.

Sounds like we are doing it for similar reasons, too. I currently pull a Pilot, but want to buy an 05-06 Unlimited Rubicon to get further into the outback. So far I have not been able to find one here in Florida. Plenty of Rubicons and plenty of Unlimiteds, but not the combination. Still looking.
Yes, we were towing a 4wd Honda CR-V until recently. It was a really good toad but didn't have the ground clearance for some of the places we wanted to explore. We made the mistake of renting a Jeep and going to the Canadian Rockies on vacation this summer and realized how changed and comfortable the new Wranglers are and how capable they are off road. We got 60 miles off the pavement twice and tried the Nez Perse pass, 121 miles of dirt/gravel between Montana and Idaho, but got turned back because of snow in July.

Here are some photos to show the rental and adventure we had, which converted us to a more capable Jeep with plenty of off road "margin" to get us back home. Good luck hunting for the Jeep that is right for you.
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Old 10-20-2012, 07:14 AM   #14
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Great shots. Thanks for sharing.

Reminds me of the saying, "I don't need to be faster than the bear, I just need to be faster than you".
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